Twitter: Engaging Participants at Your Next Workshop or Seminar

Date September 26, 2008

I am relatively new to Twitter having just set up my account a few months ago. I started using it in conjunction with my Facebook account for status updates. I remember thinking what could I possibly do with a micro blog where I can only post 140 characters? It seemed like I was using two social media platforms for no good reason but I was committed to search out the value of Twitter! Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and read other users updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 character in length. You can find out more about Twitter on Wikipedia.

The value of Twitter seemed to really present itself when I arrived at Blog World Expo. Twitter was used heavily throughout the entire conference. The organizers of Blog World created a hash code (an event code) and instructed everyone to label their micro-blogging with #bwe08 when twitting about Blog World. This was an ingenious way to keep everyone at the conference informed about schedule changes, social events, lunch, event details, and even real time class participation. (Not to mention a great marketing tool for the following year’s conference because not only could this year’s participants read the twits, but anyone on Twitter around the world could also participate. Talk about wetting someone’s appetite for future conferences. People from all over the country and world were weighing in and asking questions about sessions they couldn’t attend and didn’t pay for. How cool is that?)

So how did this make such a big difference? With everyone micro blogging using the #bwe08 you were able to search Twitter and bring up all the posts regarding Blog World. This gave me a running feed from people attending the workshop I was in as well as the many other workshops I could not make. It was like I was attending multiple workshops at the same time. On top of that most of the workshops had the feed up on the screen or created a new hash code for the workshop we were in like #cred.

As the expo continued the twitting evolved to an entire new level. Attendees started adding value to each workshop with comments, questions, and posting links to sites being discussed. The speakers and panelists of each workshop were reviewing the tweets as they showed up on the screens during the discussion. Many speakers would answer the questions real time and go into more detail based on what they were seeing.

Additionally, I can now go back and search these twits and use them as notes to remember what I learned in each session.

The end result was an amazing interaction at each workshop. A truly enlightening experience for me on how new media can make a big difference. I can’t wait for the next workshop or seminar I attend where the organizers are using twitter to interact with the participants.

I have discovered many additional uses for Twitter, future topics will include:

  • Using Twitter to enhance the customer experience
  • Large companies using Twitter to connect with their customers
  • Following up with new contacts on Twitter

How are you using Twitter? Are you or your company using Twitter to interact with clients or prospects? Become part of the conversation and add a comment on your experience with Twitter.

2 Responses to “Twitter: Engaging Participants at Your Next Workshop or Seminar”

  1. Klaus Holzapfel said:

    I think there is no ONE way to use Twitter. It was interesting for me to see how many people like the personal touch a friend of mine adds to his posts. People at Blogworld praised him for that.

    I tend to be a bit more private about my family. I also used a blog post to lay out my own Twitter policy, so people know what they get into when they follow me. Here it is: http://www.conceptbakery.com/blog/2008/07/24/my-twitter-policy/

  2. Angie A. Swartz said:

    I agree. I have also gained a whole new perspective on the value of using Twitter for business as a result of Blog World Expo ’08. Additionally, I have formed new relationships with people around the US that I met at the conference and have followed up with using Twitter. One particular example is a young lady in Washington DC who I have now twitted with, followed by a conference call that has now resulted in corresponding blog posts on both of our sites. You can read mine below which includes a link to hers. We are collectively doing a study together using both of our spheres of influence all thanks to our connection solidified through twitter. New media…the possibilities are crazy endless!

    http://tinyurl.com/3ngg2d

    Great post Alan!
    Thanks,
    Angie, Founder, Six Figure Moms Club

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